Norman Ho, who has over 35 years of experience in corporate real estate work, has advised on a wide spectrum of property-related transactions, including investment sales and purchase (by way of share or asset sales), collective sales and project development transactions. He regularly advises property developers, investment funds, statutory boards, property consultants, investors, financial institutions and purchasers in corporate real estate matters.
Norman has been identified as a leading real estate lawyer by independent legal directories such as Chambers Asia Pacific and The Legal 500 Asia Pacific. He has been recognised as an Elite Practitioner in Real Estate by Asialaw Profiles 2022 and named “Lawyer of the Year - Real Estate Law” by Best Lawyers 2020, a recognition is allocated annually to the lawyer who has the highest overall peer-review feedback in a certain practice area for a particular geographic region.
Norman has acted for owners and investors in commercial, retail, residential and resort developments both within and outside Singapore (including United Kingdom, China, Indonesia and Australia). His projects include the development and financing of major shopping and office projects and the acquisition of large commercial buildings in Singapore's Central Business District (“CBD”). He has acted for major developers in large residential projects, such as the CBD Marina Bay Residence. He has also acted in the acquisition, sale and leaseback of industrial developments, involving the Housing Development Board and Jurong Town Corporation.
A leader in collective sale transactions, Norman was involved in one of the earliest collective sales, as well as one of the largest of such sales (Farrer Court with 618 units) in Singapore. To date, he has been instructed to act for owners of almost 200 developments and has successfully completed more than 120 of such transactions.
Norman was selected to make representations to the Select Committee, commissioned by the Singapore Parliament, on amendments to the Land Titles (Strata) Act in 1999 to facilitate collective sales. He was again consulted during a review of en bloc legislation and the ensuing amendments to the Act in 2007.
Notable Cases & Transactions
- Gaw Capital Partners in the S$1.58 billion acquisition by a consortium of the entire issued and paid-up share capital of Ophir-Rochor Commercial Pte. Ltd., a wholly-owned subsidiary of M+S Pte Ltd, which owns the properties known as “Duo DUO Tower” and “Duo DUO Galleria”. This was the largest single commercial building deal in 2019. Also acted in the S$945 million syndicated green loan financing for the acquisition.
- Purchasers in the S$1.28 billion acquisition of One George Street, a Grade A office building located at the heart of the Singapore’s Central Business District. The firm also acted for the purchasers in the financing of the acquisition via a loan facility.
- Golden Compass (BVI) Ltd. in its S$1.025 billion acquisition of the balance issued and paid-up share capital of Oxley Beryl Pte. Ltd., the registered proprietor of the now strata-subdivided 32-storey commercial tower of the property known as “Oxley @ Raffles” (previously known as Chevron House).
- Golden Paramount (BVI) Ltd. in the S$286.9 million disposal of the entire issued and paid-up share capital of a special purpose vehicle which is the registered proprietor of 55 Market Street Singapore. The Property, which is strategically located in the heart of the Central Business District, has fifteen levels of office space and two levels of retail space.
- Owners of 22 lots at Thiam Siew Avenue in the largest residential development site sold since July 2018 – the S$815 million collective sale of the 22 lots at Thiam Siew Avenue to Hoi Hup Realty Pte Ltd and Sunway Developments Pte Ltd.
- Boustead Industrial Fund Management (as fund manager) in Boustead Industrial Fund’s S$422.4 million acquisition of a portfolio of 13 industrial real estate assets and interests comprising investments in business parks, logistics and industrial properties.
- Purchaser in the S$810.8 million acquisition of the property known as Cross Street Exchange and situated at 18, 20 and 22 Cross Street, Singapore (which includes the 4 retails units at 181 South Bridge Road, Singapore) (“Cross Street Exchange”) from British and Malayan Trustees Limited (in its capacity as trustee of Frasers Commercial Trust).
- Collective Sale Committee of High Point in a S$557 million collective sale, the third highest land price (in terms of psf ppr) since July 2018 of High Point, a District 9 condominium, to a subsidiary of Shun Tak Holdings.
- Mediacorp in its S$280.09 million sale by tender of the former Caldecott Broadcast Centre. This was the largest private redevelopment site sold in 2020.
- Facebook in its acquisition of S$1.4 billion first-in-Asia data centre in Singapore which will be an 11-storey, 1.8 million square feet facility completely powered by renewable energy and new StatePoint Liquid Cooling system. The negotiations involve Jurong Town Corporation, Public Utilities Board and the Economic Development Board.
- Collective Sale Committee of Watten Estate Condominium in the S$550.8 million collective sale of 104 strata units at Watten Estate Condominium, and the application before the Strata Titles Boards to grant the order for the sale.
- Lucas Real Estate Singapore in the S$175.8 million sale of 30-year leasehold interest in 1 Fusionopolis View, Singapore together with the iconic Sandcrawler building erected on it.
- The S$142 million acquisition of the entire issued and paid-up share capital in a special purpose vehicle which holds a high specification light industrial building known as Admirax, is situated on a site with 60-year leasehold tenure.
- The purchase in the S$220 million acquisition of a retail mall situated at 21 Choa Chu Kang North 6, Singapore 689578 and known as “YewTee Point” from HSBC Institutional Trust Services (Singapore) Limited (in its capacity as trustee of Frasers Centrepoint Trust).
- Via IV (BVI) Holdco 2 Ltd in the S$142 million acquisition of the entire issued and paid-up share capital in a special purpose vehicle which holds a high specification light industrial building along Admiralty Street.
- Hazel International Pte. Ltd., in the S$169 million acquisition of the entire issued share capital in Canopus II Pte. Ltd., the registered proprietor of the property known as ibis Singapore Novena and situated at 6 Irrawaddy Road, Singapore.
- BreadTalk Group in the S$118 million sale and leaseback of the BreadTalk IHQ Building situated at 30 Tai Seng Street, Singapore to a consortium led by mainboard-listed Lian Beng Group.
- Eu Realty (Singapore) Private Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Eu Yan Sang International Ltd, in the carving out and S$54 million sale of a 199-years’ leasehold estate in respect of 265, 267, 269 and 271 South Bridge Road, Singapore, a row of conservation shophouses with a 999-years’ leasehold tenure which currently houses Eu Yan Sang’s iconic flagship store.
- United Overseas Insurance Limited in the S$52 million acquisition of the property situated at 146 Robinson Road, Singapore from United Overseas Bank Limited as an interested person transaction.
- Stats Chippac Pte. Ltd. in the S$50 million acquisition and leaseback of two Yishun industrial properties situated within an industrial park area.
- Collective Sale Committee of Ho Seng Lee Flatted Warehouse in the S$40 million collective sale by private treaty of Ho Seng Lee Flatted Warehouse consisting of 16 strata lots and all the common property as comprised in Strata Title Plan No. 1213, with a land area of 2,043.2 square metres.
- Kims Land Pte Ltd in the S$51 million acquisition and financing of an eight storey industrial building with an estimated GFA of 82,941.96 square feet and classified as a Business 2 (B2) zone which is intended for industry, warehouse, utilities and telecommunications uses and the building is currently tenanted to a third party.
- Collective Sale Committee of Surrey Point in the S$47.8 million collective sale by private treaty of Surrey Point consisting of 9 strata lots and all the common property as comprised in Strata Title Plan No. 609, with a land area of 1,112.7 square metres.
- Swedish retailer Ikea in its lease of approximately 70,000 sq ft at JEM, a suburban mall in Jurong East, Singapore. The 70,000 sq ft of leased premises will span three floors at JEM and will offer the full range of Ikea products and a restaurant. This is also the first time that Ikea is establishing a smaller store format as a tenant within a shopping centre in the region. With this expansion in JEM, Ikea now has three stores in Singapore.
- OUE Hospitality REIT Management Pte. Ltd. and OUE Hospitality Trust Management Pte. Ltd. on the approximately S$1.49 billion proposed merger of OUE Commercial Real Estate Investment Trust and OUE Hospitality Trust.
- Carmel Development Pte. Ltd., a joint venture between Hong Leong Holdings Limited, Hong Realty (Private) Limited and Guocoland Limited, in the S$980 million acquisition of all the strata lots and common property comprised in the 290-unit freehold residential development known as Pacific Mansions in River Valley, Singapore.
- OUE Limited in the sale of the strata-titled office components of the development known as OUE Downtown which is refurbished mixed use development comprising two high-rise towers of 50 storeys and 37 storeys each, as well as a retail podium and multi-storey carpark. is located in the Singapore financial hub with all the plant, machinery, equipment and all component parts in the Office Components for S$908 million with a rental support arrangement for a period of up to five years from completion.
- Viva Industrial Trust Management Pte. Ltd. and Viva Industrial Business Trust on the S$936.7 million merger of ESR-REIT and Viva Industrial Trust by way of a trust scheme of arrangement with a combined S$3 billion in properties predominantly for business parks and other industrial uses.
- Gaw Capital Partners in the S$710 million acquisition of the entire issued and paid-up share capital in Arch Investment Limited, a Cayman Islands company whose wholly-owned Singapore subsidiary is the registered proprietor of the property situated at 77 Robinson Road, Singapore.
- The collective sale committee of Goodluck Garden in the S$610 million collective sale of all the strata lots and common property in the residential developments known as Goodluck Garden.
- AirTrunk in the Singapore real estate aspects of AirTrunk’s SG$450 million debt and equity financing and acquisition of land to develop a 60+ megawatt (MW) hyperscale data centre in Loyang Singapore, which state-of-the-art facility will be the largest neutral data centre in Singapore.
- Glopeak Development Pte. Ltd. (“Developer”) in the S$462 million acquisition of 67 Cairnhill Road, Singapore and the collective acquisition of all the strata lots and common property comprised in the 61-unit freehold residential development known as Cairnhill Mansions, Singapore.
- Ascend TGrande Pte. Ltd. in the S$395 million acquisition of the entire issued and paid-up share capital in T-Grande Investment Holding Pte. Ltd. whose wholly-owned Singapore subsidiary, T-Grande Property Holding Pte. Ltd., is the registered proprietor of the property situated at 7 & 9 Tampines Grande, Singapore.
- Collective acquisition of all the strata lots and common property comprised in the 139-unit leasehold residential development known as Landmark Tower, Singapore.
- Arch Capital Management in the S$210 million acquisition of the entire issued and paid-up share capital in Yongjin Holdings Pte. Ltd., the registered proprietor of the property situated at 72 Anson Road, known as Anson House, on behalf of a German fund.
- Areca Investment Pte Ltd (wholly-owned subsidiary of CapitaLand’s CRL Realty Pte Ltd) in the purchase of all the strata lots and common property in the 99-year leasehold residential development known as Pearl Bank Apartments, and assisted on the topping of a fresh 99 year tenure.
- ADC Singapore Trust in its S$99.6 million acquisition of the JTC property (comprising a six-storey industrial building used as a carrier hotel / data centre) at 9 Tai Seng Drive, Singapore, from Sabana Shari’ah Compliant Industrial Real Estate Investment Trust.
- Owners of Park House comprising of 60-unit freehold residential development, situated at 21 Orchard Boulevard for a total consideration of more than S$375 million, which translates to a record price of S$2,910 per square foot per plot ratio, on the maximum allowable gross floor area of 129,035 square feet. This is the record collective sale price per plot ratio per square foot.
- Logan Property Group and Nanshan Group Singapore Co. Pte. Ltd. (collectively, “Companies”) in the successful first ever bid for a government 99 years leasehold residential land parcel at Stirling Road land site that crosses over the S$1 billion mark. LN Development (Stirling) Pte. Ltd. which is jointly owned by the Companies subsequently completed the acquisition of the land site. The site has a land area of 227,221 square feet and it is projected that the developer will be able to construct around 1,200 private residential units on this site and will also be acting in the project sales. We also assisted LN Development in the legal aspects of the related financing of about S$900 million from a syndicate of lenders for the purposes of, inter alia, financing the acquisition, payment of the development charge and construction of the residential development.
- Green 18 Pte. Ltd in its investment in Summervale Properties Pte. Ltd. ("Summervale"), an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of City Developments Limited ("CDL") which is the registered proprietor of all 156 strata units in the high-end freehold residential development known as Nouvel 18, situated at 16 and 18 Anderson Road, valued at S$965.4 million. This transaction is also the third profit participation securities investment platform initiated by CDL, which saw the raising of a total of S$977.6 million through equity injection, issuance of notes and provision of credit facilities by two local banks. Summervale successfully obtained a clearance certificate from the controller of residential property on the date of completion
- Kheng Leong Company (H.K.) Limited in its S$213 million acquisition of a group of companies which owns 21 Anderson, a freehold condominium development in Singapore, from Hong Kong-listed Far East Consortium International Limited. The Property, strategically situated within the Orchard Road shopping belt, has a gross floor area of 87,000 square feet which translates to an estimated value of S$2,448 per square foot.
- Northernone Development Pte. Ltd. in the S$205 million disposal of the entire issued and paid-up share capital of Northern Retail Pte. Ltd., the registered proprietor of the property situated at 598 Yishun Ring Road, Singapore comprised in the whole of Strata Lot No. U86443T of Mukim 19 known as Wisteria Mall. The commercial units therein comprise a mix of retail, supermarket, food court and other food and beverage shops.
- Everfit Sage Pte. Ltd. (a special purpose vehicle of Gaw Capital Partners, a Hong Kong-based private equity real estate group) in the acquisition of the entire issued and paid-up share capital of F2S1 Investment Pte. Ltd, the registered proprietor of the property situated at 1 Selegie Road, Singapore 188306, also known as POMO. The nine-storey commercial development rests on a leasehold site with a land area of 43,027 square feet, and the net lettable area of the building is about 180,000 square feet, comprising 110,000 square feet of office space and 70,000 square feet of retail space and the deal value was S$342 million. We also acted for the borrower in relation to the financing aspects of the transaction, which also involved banking facilities of more than S$240 million from a local bank.
- SRIF Pte. Ltd’s trust Singapore Residential Income Fund in its acquisition of the entire issued and paid-up share capital of Ximeng Land (S) Pte. Ltd. ("Ximeng"), the housing developer of the residential project at Pearl Island, Sentosa Cove. The transaction required the approval of Sentosa Development Corporation, and Ximeng also successfully obtained a clearance certificate from the controller of residential property following completion, and ceased to be liable to pay any charges to Sentosa Development Corporation for the extension of time to sell all the houses in the development.
- TG Development Pte Ltd and Tee Development Pte Ltd in the swap of an aggregate of 80 units in two separate developments (20 unsold units out of 52 in one, all 60 unsold units in the other) jointly developed by the two companies with the units estimated to be valued at S$165 million and acted for Tee Development Pte Ltd in the related financing of about S$27.6 million. The matter involved making multiple representations to Land Dealings (Approval) Unit on issues pertaining to qualifying certificate and for obtaining consents to the change of ownership, as well as to Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore on stamp duty considerations.
- Morgan Stanley Real Estate Investment GmbH, on behalf of its fund Morgan Stanley EuroAsia, in the S$149 million sale of the entire issued and paid-up share capital in KAG 1 Holding SG Pte. Ltd. ("KAG") to Radiant Charm Limited, which is affiliated to the Tang group of companies. KAG is the registered proprietor of 23 strata units comprised in the condominium development known as Draycott 8 located at 8 Draycott Park, a prestigious high-end residence located near the popular shopping and entertainment belt of Orchard Road.
- SC Aetas Holdings Pte. Ltd, a subsidiary of SIN Capital Group, in its S$380 million en bloc acquisition of all 45 commercial and residential strata units in the development known as Thong Sia Building.
- Pamfleet on behalf of Tuckman Limited, a British Virgin Island-incorporated investment vehicle ("Tuckman"), in its S$127.1 million acquisition of the entire interest in JSCL Investments Pte. Ltd. ("JSCL") from Reef Lodge Pte Ltd and Ang Ming Chiang. The registered proprietor of JSCL is the proprietor of Homestay Lodge (the "Property"), a workers' dormitory development comprising 10 blocks of about 6,000 beds. The Property is held by JSCL under a leasehold estate from the Housing and Development Board ("HDB"). The acquisition was subjected to the approval of HDB. Also acted for JSCL in the secured term loan facilities of up to S$76.26 million granted to JSCL to refinance its existing loans and for the purpose of on-tending to Tuckman to partially finance the acquisition.
- Blackstone Singapore Pte Ltd, on behalf of Amber Investment Holding (Cayman) Limited, in its S$164 million acquisition from Arch Capital Asian Partners, LP, of the entire issued and paid-up share capital of Highest Reach Investments Limited, which holds 34 strata units comprised in the residential development located at 21 Anderson Road, a high-end residence located near Orchard Road shopping belt, through its indirectly wholly-owned subsidiaries, Anderson International Properties Pte Ltd and Raffles Legend Properties Pte Ltd (together, “Borrowers”). Also acted for the Borrowers in the credit facilities of up to S$103 million granted to the Borrowers from a local bank to refinance its existing loans and also assisted with the whitewash procedure required in relation to the refinancing.
- RB Capital Group in its S$232.5 million acquisition of Gallery Hotel at 1 Nanson Road Singapore, which translates to over S$1 million per room.
- Exklusiv Resorts Pte Ltd (“Vendor)” in its S$318 million sale to Oxley Gem Pte Ltd (“Purchaser”), of the leasehold estate for a term of 103 years in the property known as 30 Stevens Road, Singapore (“Property”). Funds for the purchase comprised both bank borrowings as well as S$100 million 6% bonds due 2015 issued by the Purchaser to the Vendor and guaranteed by Oxley Holdings; also advised the Vendor on issues relating to the contractual rights of club members, the relevant notices to be issued to members and the suspension of the club membership in view of the sale and redevelopment of the property and closure of the Pines club.
- LVND Investments Pte Ltd in its S$163 million purchase of Hotel Windsor located at 401 Macpherson Road from Ho Bee Developments Pte Ltd (“Ho Bee”). This deal also involved the leaseback of the hotel component to Ho Bee, the entry into a management agreement with Ho Bee for the provision of management services for the commercial retail space of the property, and financing from United Overseas Bank Limited. We were involved in the drafting, negotiations, amendments and finalisation of these agreements as well. Subsequently, we were also involved in acting on the Hotel Consultancy Services Agreement and Hotel Management Agreement with AAPC Singapore Pte Ltd. (AAPC), a subsidiary of ACCOR Asia SA, to, among other things, provide hotel consultancy and management services for the new hotel development knows as Ibis Styles Singapore on MacPherson.
- Morgan Stanley in its S$380 million divestment of the whole of its indirect interest in an investment holding company which held four dormitories in Jalan Papan, Woodlands, Kian Teck and Tampines in Singapore.
- Owners of Farrer Court in its sale of the 618-unit development to Morganite Pte Ltd, a consortium comprising CapitaLand, Hotel Properties and Wachovia Development Corporation for S$1.34 billion. This remains Singapore’s largest collective sale transaction to date.
- First Meyer Development Pte Ltd in the S$319.88 million collective acquisition of all the strata lots and common property comprised in the 76-unit freehold residential development known as Casa Meyfort, Singapore and the financing of the Acquisition and redevelopment of the Property.
- Landmark JV Pte. Ltd. (“Developer”) in S$286 million collective acquisition of all the strata lots and common property comprised in the 139-unit leasehold residential development known as Landmark Tower, Singapore.
- A4 Robinson Gold Pte. Ltd. and A4 Robinson Wealth Pte. Ltd. in the S$142.8 million sale of Finexis Building, a prime 12-storey commercial building with an estimated GFA of 5,077 square meters at 108 Robinson Road, Singapore. The property is situated within the Central Business District and is classified as a Commercial zone which is intended to be used mainly for commercial development.
- Public Utilities Board as the lessor in the lease to Singapore Island Country Club (the “SICC”) of the golf courses at Thomson Road and near MacRtichie Reservoir, as well as in the lease to Sport Singapore of the public golf course at Bukit (Sime) location. Other than negotiating the usual lease covenants with the respective parties, other government agencies were also involved as SICC was required to construct and maintain a public access trail within the land for Island Location.
- CIMB Bank Berhad (“Bank”) and TG Group of Companies (“Company”) in the refinancing of two stacks of residential properties owned by the Company via commodity murabaha term financing facilities allowed under the Shariah laws. The aggregate facility value is in excess of S$105 million was granted by the Bank via commodity murabaha term financing facilities allowed under the Shariah laws. Also assisted in the preparation of template security documents for the Bank in respect of their corporate Islamic financing secured by real estate properties.
- Pristine Islands Investment (Maldives) Private Limited (“PI”) in its partnership negotiations with ACCOR, the world's leading hotel operator and market leader in Europe. With assistance from the Maldives counsel, advised PI, among other matters, in the review and negotiations of the Hotel Consultancy Services Agreement (HCSA) and the Hotel Management Agreement (HMA) for the two international beach resorts under the ACCOR brand standards of "Pullman" and "Mercure".
- HL Bank in its acquisition from National Australia Bank Limited, a portfolio of property and term loans granted to medical practitioners and medical and dental clinics in Singapore ("Portfolio"). The Portfolio was transferred pursuant to Section 55C of the Banking Act and required the approval by the Monetary Authority of Singapore and the High Court.
- Lion City Hotel Properties Pte Ltd in its sale of the Lion City Hotel and the adjoining former Hollywood Theatre site for S$313 million. The unit land price for the Tanjong Katong-Geylang Road area properties, with a total freehold land area of 147,909 square feet, works out to S$779 per square feet of potential gross floor area. Based on the current allowable development options, the property may be redeveloped into a commercial and/or residential complex.
- Mitsuuroko Group Holdings Co., Ltd. ("MGH") in its S$87 million acquisition of General Storage Company Pte. Ltd. and its subsidiaries ("GSC") through a wholly-owned subsidiary of MGH. The team had also advised MGH on various real estate issues arising from the change in ownership of properties.
- Honorary Legal Advisor, Real Estate Developers’ Association of Singapore (2001 - present)
- Board Member of Asia-Pacific Real Estate Association (Singapore Chapter) (2020 – present)
- Notary Public and Commissioner for Oaths (1996 – 2008)
- Legal Advisor and Member, Bone Marrow Donor Program (Registered Charity) (1993 – 2018)
- President, Bone Marrow Donor Programme (Registered Charity) (2014 –2018)
- Consultant, Singapore Academy of Law (Stakeholding Rules) (1996 - present)
- Co-author, “Halsbury's Laws and Precedents – Land”, Vol 14, Butterworths Asia (2001)
- Contributed a chapter for “The Practice of Law”, LexisNexis (2011)